Review: "A Hint of Wicked" stretches the boundaries of Regency romance


I’m pleased to have been able to read an advance copy of this novel, due to be released May 26, 2009. Jennifer Haymore will also be featured on this blog next Monday in an interview about her fantastic NY debut.

Sophie’s husband is wounded at the battle of Waterloo and his body is never found. After eight years of heartbreak and fruitless searching, Garrett is declared dead and Sophie finally starts to rebuild her life with Tristan. She finds love again, remarries and starts to heal — and then Garrett returns.

One woman, two husbands. And Sophie truly loves them both. How can you not want to read every word to find out how this dilemma can be resolved? This is the sort of emotionally charged scenario that only masters such as Julia Quinn and Lavyrle Spencer dare to attempt, yet Jennifer Haymore takes this on in her New York debut.

None of this would work if you didn’t believe in the emotions and Ms. Haymore handles them beautifully. You yearn for what Sophie and Tristan and Garrett have lost, you’ll cry for them. This is not an easy emotional journey and at times, you may wonder how this can all work out. When Sophie says, “I want them both”, it’s not out of selfishness, but out of a deep connection with Garrett, the first love of her youth as well as with Tristan, the new love she’s discovered after the years of pain and loss.

I loved this book for how fearless A Hint of Wicked is in delving deep into the difficult decisions people have to make. Then, on top of that, it’s wonderfully plotted, fits in perfectly with its time period and creates such a sensual and intimate mood that I had to give a deep sigh when it was all over.

I have often wondered a book generates a buzz prior to its release. In this case, the attention is well deserved. I’d read the follow up novel, A Touch of Scandal, today if someone were to put it in my greedy little hands.

A Hint of Wicked is available May 26, 2009. Click here to order from Amazon.